Irish-English actor Sir Michael Gambon, who was best known for playing Professor Albus Dumbledore in the 'Harry Potter' film series, has died at the age of 82, his family announced in a statement obtained by NBC News Thursday (September 28) morning.
“We are devastated to announce the loss of Sir Michael Gambon,” the statement, which was issued on behalf of his wife Anne Gambon and son Fergus by publicist Clair Dobbs, reads.
Gambon's wife and son were reported to be by his bedside when he "died peacefully" at a hospital following a recent battle with pneumonia.
“We ask that you respect our privacy at this painful time and thank you for your messages of support and love,” the family added.
Gambon's decorated acting career spanned nearly five decades and included five BAFTAs, two RTS Awards and an Olivier award. The Ireland native made his debut in a production of 'Othello' at Dublin's Gates Theatre in 1962 before later roles in the films 'Gosford Park,' 'The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover' and his signature role as Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, for the remainder of the popular film franchise following the death of the character's original actor, Richard Harris, in 2002.